The Continuing Saga of Maranatha Baptist Church

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Ivan

Pastor
The obstacles continue...and this one is a doozy.

We found out a few days ago that we are required by law to hook up to the sewer system of the village. We once thought that we could have a septic system, but that is not the case. Here's the killer: the sewer is on the opposite side of the state highway and we would have to bring in under the highway and install a pump station. The bill would be in the neighborhood of $100,000. It will be a VERY long time before we could afford that. At this point, at least to us, our property is basically worthless. We could sell the property, but that's probably not going to be to our advantage at this point in time. One possibility is to trade the land. We have a lady in the church who owns a great deal of property (with whom I have not spoken yet). Our property could be VERY valuable to the right person at the right time. If our lady has property in an area that would work for us we have the possibility of trading and being able to build soon. Otherwise, we will not be able to build for a very long time. Please pray for us.

On another note, we have been using the Bergmann Centre for quite a few years, several years before I got to the church and I've been there for over three and a half years not. It's a fancy-sounding name, but the location isn't, although it is rent-free. It is a non-profit riding stable for the handicap. The facility is not taken care of. We have to clean and repair the portion of the building that we use, if it's going to get done at all. There have been several occasions when we have clean the building on a Saturday only to have somebody from the Centre has messed it up before Sunday morning. That's all well and good and we adapt and survive. However, this is the kicker: it's a riding stable with horses and it smell as such. Now I have a very bad sense of smell, but others of our congregation have a very good sense of smell. We have had numerous visitors over the years that have come and gone and I must freely admit that one of the reasons they don't consider us as a church to join is our facilities.

So with that in mind, our church today have decided to rent the grade school in the village at a cost of about $500 dollars a month. We will have four hours on Sunday morning to "do our thing" and that's it. We will use the chairs, tables, etc. so the set-up is minimal, but it will be different. I believe that it will be good for us, but I am still praying that we will be able to build this year...somewhere...by the Grace of God!
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Praying, Ivan. Facilities woes can be a vexation.

One caveat with renting a public school is the usual necessity to employ one of the custodial staff on the sabbath to open and close. And then there is the reliability of said custodian. Tonight our Church was to have a prayer meeting and youth fellowship, but nobody showed up to open the doors. Sixty people stood outside in the cold for over half an hour before the Elders determined they would not be able to find the offending custodian, and cancelled. One of those was a woman we invited to Church, and has come the last two times we had service (today and three weeks ago due to weather), who left in tears. My daughter was crying as well. This was to be an important day in the life of our Church, as we were to pray about the progress of our Pulpit Nominating Committee and the formulation of a Vision Statement. I think the enemy was trying to intervene, but by God's grace we were praying at home for those things instead. Still a big day.

Renting a school can lull a congregation into a half-sleep, their fellowship opportunities dictated by the whims of the school system and custodians. Whatever you do, don't abandon the search for a home of your own.
 

KSon

Puritan Board Junior
Ivan,

Thank you for the update. At times, the wondrous works of a sovereign God certainly seem perplexing to us. Sometime we rejoice in the Lord giving us "A", when His entire purpose was to use "A" to get us to "B" (or sometime if He wants to build our trust, reliance and faithfulness He may take us to "Z"). Don't hang your head, brother. Stay faithful and watch the marvelous movings of an almighty God.
 

Michael

Puritan Board Senior
Praying for God to work solutions out of these many obstacles Ivan. May the prayers of Maranatha and everyone involved be sweetened by knowing God deeper as he works these things for his own glory.

Just so you know, when things finally get situated the family and I are coming to see you. :)
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Ivan,

$500/mo. isn't bad at all. We're paying about $1400/mo. to meet in a public school here in suburban Washington/Baltimore.

I will continue to pray for your property situation.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Ivan - Is that law something that was on the books prior to your church purchasing the land, or was it something that has come up since then?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Praying, Ivan. Facilities woes can be a vexation.

One caveat with renting a public school is the usual necessity to employ one of the custodial staff on the sabbath to open and close. And then there is the reliability of said custodian. Tonight our Church was to have a prayer meeting and youth fellowship, but nobody showed up to open the doors. Sixty people stood outside in the cold for over half an hour before the Elders determined they would not be able to find the offending custodian, and cancelled. One of those was a woman we invited to Church, and has come the last two times we had service (today and three weeks ago due to weather), who left in tears. My daughter was crying as well. This was to be an important day in the life of our Church, as we were to pray about the progress of our Pulpit Nominating Committee and the formulation of a Vision Statement. I think the enemy was trying to intervene, but by God's grace we were praying at home for those things instead. Still a big day.

Renting a school can lull a congregation into a half-sleep, their fellowship opportunities dictated by the whims of the school system and custodians. Whatever you do, don't abandon the search for a home of your own.
Amen, and praying.

A humble home where you are free to minister throughout the week is very valuable.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Renting a school can lull a congregation into a half-sleep, their fellowship opportunities dictated by the whims of the school system and custodians. Whatever you do, don't abandon the search for a home of your own.

The $500 a month includes the custodian. We have a number of options for meeting places, but the grade school is the best one. We do meet in members home for prayer meetings and for some fellowship activities. Some of our members have huge homes.

Don't hang your head, brother. Stay faithful and watch the marvelous movings of an almighty God.

The head is not hanging at all. I am waiting to see how the Lord will surprise us.

Just so you know, when things finally get situated the family and I are coming to see you. :)

I'm really looking forward to that!

Ivan,

$500/mo. isn't bad at all. We're paying about $1400/mo. to meet in a public school here in suburban Washington/Baltimore.

I will continue to pray for your property situation.

Thanks, Bill. And I stated earlier in this post, that includes the custodian. We'll see how it works.

Ivan - Is that law something that was on the books prior to your church purchasing the land, or was it something that has come up since then?

My understanding is that it's a state law, and, yes, I believe it was one the books for a long time.

A humble home where you are free to minister throughout the week is very valuable.

Amen, Fred! And I'll soon be moving to the area. Buying a house there. I will not give up or give in. Stubborn that way...in the Lord!
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Well, Ivan, I would chronicle all these items in a prayer journal. One day, perhaps you can look back with humor at the unreasonable level of hindrance in starting this work.

It is often darkest before the dawn. Sometimes, things bottom out, one can laugh at the calamity, give up and then God intervenes and somehow, changes everything. Sometimes us.

My thought here would be to test the town officials. Lay out the case, a fledgling church with limited resources did not understand this would be required and can't afford this- do they have any suggestions?

Somehow, resting in what you can do while investigating alternatives.

One thing that has become clear- this place needs a biblical, reformed church!:):):)
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Wow, Ivan. I'm really glad the school system rental worked out. That is CHEAP! We paid a good deal more than that more than 15 years ago to rent space in a school building.

Still praying for you.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Well, Ivan, I would chronicle all these items in a prayer journal. One day, perhaps you can look back with humor at the unreasonable level of hindrance in starting this work.

It is often darkest before the dawn. Sometimes, things bottom out, one can laugh at the calamity, give up and then God intervenes and somehow, changes everything. Sometimes us.

My thought here would be to test the town officials. Lay out the case, a fledgling church with limited resources did not understand this would be required and can't afford this- do they have any suggestions?

Somehow, resting in what you can do while investigating alternatives.

One thing that has become clear- this place needs a biblical, reformed church!:):):)

Thank you, Scott. As to going to the town officals, they don't want the church. They are working to protect the liberal Methodist church whose pastor is a woman, that preaches being affirming and open and promotes abortion. We live a spiritually dark area.

The requirement to hook up to the sewer is a state requirement. In addition to this, the village wants to run a street through the middle of our property. They are doing everything possible to hinder us.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In addition to this, the village wants to run a street through the middle of our property. They are doing everything possible to hinder us.

Any way to trade them land for the street for a sewer line that goes along it (on your side)? As long as there is room for a building on one side, parking could be on the other.
 
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Ivan

Pastor
In addition to this, the village wants to run a street through the middle of our property. They are doing everything possible to hinder us.

Any way to trade them land for the street for a sewer line that goes along it (on your side)? As long as there is room for a building on one side, parking could be on the other.

Sewer won't run along that street. It's just a route to get from point A to point B. No buildings along this road.
 
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